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Madera man found guilty in DUI crash that killed his passengers

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A jury has found a North Valley man guilty of driving drunk and killing two people who were in his car. Richard Farias was convicted on two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter.

Richard Farias showed no emotion in a Madera courtroom when a jury found him guilty of two counts of vehicular manslaughter and guilty of driving under the influence and causing injury. Bit his defense attorney says Farias is sorry for the crash that killed his passengers, "He was aware of the likely verdict but I know that he was remorseful because I have spoken to him numerous times. He was very good friends with Ms. Lyon and I know he regrets his actions," said defense attorney, Martin Jones.

That November 2010 crash killed his passengers Deborah Lyon and Marcel Rodriguez. Valentino Valdez is the only passenger who survived the crash. Earlier this month he testified Farias was speeding up to 110 miles an hour. But on Tuesday the jury deadlocked on two counts of second degree murder.

Prosecutors say even without that conviction, the victim's families are finding some closure knowing that Farias faces 15 years to life in prison. Prosecutor Matthew Pfeffer said, "I think they are happy enough with what happened today. I think there is obviously some disappointment when you don't get the murder conviction based on his history that is justified but it has had a great impact on them. They have waited two years for this to happen."

There is still a chance there will be a retrial on the second degree murder charges.

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crimetracker, dui, court, madera, madera county, local, mariana jacob
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